Former Towns player Jack Martin’s season debut pushed back due to hamstring injury

Headshot of Fraser Williams
Fraser WilliamsGeraldton Guardian
Jack Martin is set to start his 2024 season with the Blues.
Camera IconJack Martin is set to start his 2024 season with the Blues. Credit: Michael Willson/AFL Photos via Getty Images

North Melbourne could be in for a rough night on Friday as Carlton come in fresh off a bye, but the Blues will be without former Towns player Jack Martin for another week.

The 11-year player’s 2024 campaign was delayed due to a knee injury suffered in preseason and he was expected to make his return this week, before a hamstring injury has pushed him back further.

He missed a large part of 2023 with an injury but kicked 17 goals in 12 games as the Baggers went on an eight-game winning streak, with four of those goals coming in the finals.

Despite missing Martin, the Blues are off to a 2-0 start and face a North Melbourne side that aren’t tipped to perform well against the flag contenders.

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Martin will have to wait to join fellow Great Northern Football League alumnus and Northampton star Patrick Cripps, who has been in top form so far and will likely continue his form against a young Roos side.

Geraldton’s Jack Carroll will hopefully retain his spot after an impressive showing in the round one win over Richmond.

The fourth-year Blue has spent much of this year in the midfield, where he has flourished putting up career highs in disposals, tackles and clearances in the win.

A player that will be looking for more game time this week is Dongara’s Jaeger O’Meara after he was made the Dockers’ sub last week.

O’Meara was not activated until the fourth quarter as a tactical sub and quickly had to come back off for the blood rule after taking a knock to the head.

Despite his limited minutes, the former Railways player still showed efficiency with the ball that will hopefully translate to being in the 22 against Adelaide at Friday night’s home clash.

A player that has shown consistent efficiency with the ball this year has been second-year player Judd McVee.

The young defender for Melbourne has tallied exactly 20 disposals in each of his three games this year after never surpassing 18 in his 25 games last year.

McVee has already seen his role expanded over last year, but the Demons may need to put more on the 21-year-old’s plate after star defenders Steven May and Jake Lever went down with injury against Hawthorn.

While Lever is a chance to play on the weekend, without those two in the backfield the young gun could take on greater responsibility in the coming weeks as they go on the road to face Port Adelaide on Saturday.

Another player who has seen their role step up this year is Logan McDonald, as the forward has been one of many Swans that are trying to fill the shoes of recently retired Buddy Franklin.

A quiet outing against Essendon saw the former Coorow-Latham forward kick just one goal, but he will have his chances as the Swans take Richmond.

The same can be said about both Jamie Cripps and Tyler Brockman as the Eagles face a competitive Bulldogs side.

West Coast need desperate answers to fix their scoring woes and the pair will need to step up if they do not want a repeat of the Giants’ outing.

To prepare for their clash against the Dogs, the team trained in junior jumpers on Tuesday, which saw Jamie Cripps bring out his Rams kit while a recovering Liam Ryan was sporting his Rovers gear.

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